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Nature’s Electric Potential

A Systematic Review of the Role of Bioelectricity in Wound Healing and Regenerative Processes in Animals, Humans, and Plants

Natural endogenous voltage gradients not only predict and correlate with growth and development but also drive wound healing and regeneration processes. This review summarizes the existing literature for the nature, sources, and transmission of information-bearing bioelectric signals involved in controlling wound healing and regeneration in animals, humans, and plants. It emerges that some bioelectric characteristics occur ubiquitously in a range of animal and plant species. However, the limits of similarities are probed to give a realistic assessment of future areas to be explored. Major gaps remain in our knowledge of the mechanistic basis for these processes, on which regenerative therapies ultimately depend. In relation to this, it is concluded that the mapping of voltage patterns and the processes generating them is a promising future research focus, to probe three aspects: the role of wound/regeneration currents in relation to morphology; the role of endogenous flux changes in driving wound healing and regeneration; and the mapping of patterns in organisms of extreme longevity, in contrast with the aberrant voltage patterns underlying impaired healing, to inform interventions aimed at restoring them.

Read the full article by Sheena E.B. Tyler at Frontiers in Physiology

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